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Encyclopedia > Wimbledon (tennis)
Grand Slams
Wimbledon logo
Wimbledon logo

Wimbledon is the oldest and most prestigious event in the sport of tennis. Wimbledon, held in June/July, is the third Grand Slam tournament played each year, preceded by the Australian Open and French Open, and followed by the US Open. The tournament (which is the only one of the Grand Slams to be played on grass courts) lasts for a fortnight, subject to extensions for rain. Separate tournaments are simultaneously held for Gentlemen's Singles, Ladies' Singles, Gentlemen's Doubles, Ladies' Doubles and Mixed Doubles. Youth tournaments - Boys' Singles, Girls' Singles, Boys' Doubles and Girls' Doubles - are also held. Additionally, special invitational tournaments are held for retired players - 35 and over Gentlemen's Doubles, 45 and over Gentlemen's Doubles, and 35 and over Ladies' Doubles.

Contents

History

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Sébastien Grosjean takes a shot on Court 18 during the 2004 championships

The tournament was first played under the control of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in 1877 at a ground near Worple Road; the only event held was Gentlemen's Singles. In 1884, the All England Club added Ladies' Singles and Gentlemen's Doubles. Ladies' Doubles and Mixed Doubles were added in 1913. The Championships moved to their present location, at a ground near Church Road, in 1922. The British are very proud of the Championships but it is a source of national anguish and humour - no British man has won the singles event at Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936, and no British woman since Virginia Wade in 1977.


Courts

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The order of play for all courts is displayed on boards around the grounds

The main court is called Centre Court, and it is here that the finals of the tournament are always played. Due to the unpredictable nature of the British weather during the Championships, a retractable roof has been proposed for the court. It is expected to be completed in 2009. The No. 1 Court was the subject of an extensive redevelopment in 1997 - it was originally adjacent to Centre Court, but was replaced by a new dedicated arena with a larger capacity for spectators. The original No. 1 Court was said to have a unique atmosphere, and was a favourite of many players, so its replacement was mourned by many. No. 1 Court also plays host to some of the more important matches at the Championships, such as the quarter-finals of the singles competitions. No. 2 Court bears the nickname The Graveyard of Champions since it has a reputation for playing host to seeded players being knocked out in upsets.


Traditions

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Court 10 - on the outside courts there is no reserved seating
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Evening on the first Friday of the 2004 championships

Green and purple are the traditional Wimbledon colours. Female players are always referred to as "Miss" or "Mrs" during play (for example, when the Chair Umpire states the scores). Male players, however, are referred to by last name only.


The tournament begins each year six weeks before the first Monday in August, and lasts for a fortnight. Traditionally, there is no play on the "Middle Sunday." Thrice in Championship history (most recently in 2004), rain has forced play on the Middle Sunday. During the first week, the early rounds are played, while during the second week, the "Round of Sixteen," the Quarterfinals, the Semifinals and Finals are held.


The Gentlemen's Singles Champion receives a silver gilt trophy of a height of over eighteen inches. The Ladies' Singles Trophy is a silver salver, almost nineteen inches in diameter, commonly called the "Rosewater Dish" or the "Venus Rosewater Dish." Trophies are also presented in the other events. Prize money figures for 2004 (with the amount shown for doubles being divided equally among the partners) were:

  • Gentlemen's Singles: £602,500
  • Ladies' Singles: £560,500
  • Gentlemen's Doubles: £215,000
  • Ladies' Doubles: £200,000
  • Mixed Doubles: £90,000

Wimbledon and the French Open both have higher prize money for male champions than for female ones; the US Open and Australian Open pay equal amounts.


Champions

See: List of Wimbledon champions

  • Wimbledon champions (Men's Singles)
  • Wimbledon champions (Women's Singles)
  • Wimbledon champions (Doubles)
  • Wimbledon champions (Mixed Doubles)

External Links

  • Official Wimbledon Website (http://www.wimbledon.org)
  • BBC Wimbledon Tennis (http://www.bbc.co.uk/wimbledon)
  • Wimbledon Tennis Tournament (http://www.wimbledondraw.com)

  Results from FactBites:
 
MSN Encarta - Wimbledon (tennis) (341 words)
Wimbledon (tennis), annual tennis tournament held in the district of Wimbledon, in the London borough of Merton.
Tennis was invented in England, and Wimbledon is the oldest of the four grand slams and perhaps the most prestigious to win.
Wimbledon was cancelled from 1940 to 1945 because of World War II, and Centre Court was damaged by a German bomb in 1940.
The Championships, Wimbledon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2004 words)
Wimbledon usually lasts for two weeks; the main events span both weeks, but the junior and invitational events are for the most part held during the second week.
Players are admitted to the junior tournaments upon the recommendations of their national tennis associations, and, in the case of the singles events, on the basis of a qualifying competition.
Due to possibility of rain during Wimbledon, a retractable roof is planned for the court; it is expected to be completed in 2009.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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